Elegant Wedding Toronto 2019 EWM TORONTO_2 - Page 44

Notes from the Writer’s Desk Tips to perfecting your Wedding Speech Delivering a wedding toast will be one of the most memorable public speaking moments of your lifetime. That wedding speech could be for your best friend, your mom, your brother, or your sister. When someone asks you to speak at their wedding, one thing is for certain, you definitely have a special bond with them. That’s why it’s so important to get your words right. The urge to honour your loved one is also why preparing wedding toasts can feel so daunting. But as long as you put in the work, speaking at a wedding can be a truly serene – unstressful – experience. Here are five tips for delivering a spectacular wedding speech! 1. Know your relationship Ask yourself, who are you delivering this toast to? Is it your child- hood friend who’s tying the knot? Is it your uncle, or your college roommate? Are they sweet and serious? Or are they frivolous and funny? Before you deliver the speech to your audience, remember that it’s first and foremost for your loved one. The speech should be designed to appeal to that person, and to express the nature of your connection with them. Is this speech for the dad you love so dear- ly, but who doesn’t like to laugh at himself? Your guiding thought should be, “What would this person want or expect from me with this speech?” Of course, the answer to that question doesn’t have to be a mystery. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask a bride or groom what they want. They undoubtedly have a vision for the speech they’d like to see you give, and it’s OK to ask what that is. 2. Know your audience and know your setting Your setting and audience can have a significant impact on the type of speech you give, and how you give it. There are so many different factors to consider. On one hand, you could be one of 10 people presenting toasts to a crowd of 500 well-wishers spread out around a hotel ballroom. On the other hand, the wedding could have an intimate backyard setting with a handful of speeches, and a grand total of 25 guests. The best way to calm the nerves is to get to know the setting and prepare your speech accordingly. Prepare a list of questions about the setting to ask the bride or groom. For example, you need to know things like, will there be a microphone? Where will your audience be sitting? How long is the speech supposed to be? Will there be a projector for the slide show you prepared? As the age-old adage says, knowledge is power! 42 by Frankie Cena 3. Evoke an emotion Reflect back on the best wedding speech you have ever heard. I guarantee it made you laugh or cry. Some of us are really good with comedy, while others are more suited to drama, and some can manage both with ease. While it’s essential to prioritize what the friend getting married wants above all, you should also try playing to your strengths. Reflect on your best memories with your loved one. Sit down in a stress-free environment and write down the most precious moments that come to mind. Those memories will be the bread and butter of your presentation. Once you’ve identified them, the rest of your speech will flow freely. 4. Practice! Just like your fourth grade choir leader/soccer coach/equestrian in- structor told you, practice makes perfect! Remember to read your speech in front of others before the big day. That way you’ll see if the jokes you’d planned actually land, and you can solicit opinions about whether those cute anecdotes about the bride or groom’s misspent youth actually cross the line. Yet another benefit of practicing your toast is that it will make you more comfortable with it, which will in turn make you calmer when it comes time to present it. How- ever, avoiding the pitfalls of “over-practicing” is equally important. You don’t want to come off as rigid, which often happens when you memorize a speech word-for-word. Find the sweet spot between spontaneous and overly studious! 5. Have fun! A wedding is a joyous celebration of love. Everyone in the audience will either be drunk, or on their way to being drunk. The audience wants to have fun. That means you should enjoy yourself while delivering your speech so everyone else assembled can have a good time, too. Follow Frankie at his website, on Instagram, or Youtube Channel. www.facebook.com/frankiecena and for more info on public speaking, www.fdtacademy.com